Reggae Music 80s Mix

Reggae music’s captivating beat has attracted people of all backgrounds. Many artists utilize it to raise social awareness or promote cannabis use among Rastafari communities as part of religious rituals.

Reggae music can be overtly sexualized, such as Deborahe Glasgow’s 1989 lovers-rock hit “Champion Lover,” which sings of female desire. Deejays who popularized toasting (rapping over instrumental tracks) took this politicization of reggae music and contributed significantly to hip-hop’s rise at the turn of the century.

The Abyssinians

The Abyssinians are a trio of Jamaican vocalists renowned for their close harmonies in roots reggae music and promotion of Rastafari ideology through lyrics. Recording for Coxson Dodd Studio One as well as their own Clinch label, their most-acclaimed recording was Satta Massagana (also called Forward Onto Zion). Many consider Satta Massagana to be reggae’s national anthem; other hits by this group included Declaration of Rights, Y Mas Gan African Race and Pressure Drop.

The Abyssinians were an iconic live act during the 1980s, performing at festivals like Sunsplash. Donald Manning and Bernard Collins reunited with David Morrison and have since been touring steadily both Europe and US throughout 2010. With an extensive discography featuring performances alongside The Wailers, Everton Pessoa George Henry Rebelution amongst others; Jah Lyrics does not claim any ownership to their lyrics nor make any profits through this site.

Ken Boothe

Kenneth George Boothe OD is one of Jamaica’s acclaimed vocalists who has earned worldwide acclaim with his captivating artistic style, impressive dancing abilities and versatile voice. Born and raised in Denham Town area of Kingston, he credits musical inspiration from his mother and older sister; in particular Otis Redding, Mahalia Jackson Wilson Pickett and The Temptations were big influences.

Boothe began recording professionally in 1963 as part of Winston ‘Stranger’ Cole and Ken’s duo Stranger and Ken. Together they released such hit titles as World’s Fair, Hush, Artibella and Lonely Teardrops on Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd’s Studio One label. Later during rocksteady period in 1966 Boothe had success working with producers Sonia Pottinger and Phil Pratt who produced hits by Boothe including: Worlds Fair Hush Hush Artibella and Lonely Teardrops

Once he had achieved international renown, Boothe worked on various projects with producers like Bunny Lee, BB Seaton and Keith Hudson. In 1974 he had an international hit with his song ‘Everything I Own’ reaching #1 on the British Top Of The Pops Chart; later that same year his hit 1966 track ‘The Train Is Coming’ with recording artist Shaggy was reworked for use as part of the soundtrack for Money Train movie.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley was born in a remote Jamaican village known as Nine Miles. His father, Captain Norval Marley, worked as an overseer of land for British colonial government and seduced Cedella Booker as part of an age-old scheme where wealthy individuals exploited poor and powerless citizens.

Marley formed the Wailers alongside Desmond Dekker, an apprentice welder, whose voice had recently made waves as an artist on Coxsone Records; Junior Braithwaite and Cherry Smith later joined. Coxsone Records owner Chris Blackwell noticed their recording singles for Coxsone Records which caught his attention, eventually leading him to Island Records owner Chris Blackwell of London-based Island Records who gave them a record deal.

Blackwell recognized the Wailers’ potential for international success and signed them to his record deal. Their first album Exodus proved immensely popular in Britain’s charts and spent 56 weeks on there before being taken off of them entirely.

Kaya was released shortly thereafter, further expanding their popularity and introducing reggae music to an even broader audience outside the UK. By 1978, Marley had amassed enough sociopolitical power that he was able to convince rival Jamaican political figures Michael Manley of People’s National Party and Edward Seaga from Jamaica Labour Party both to appear together at One Love Peace Concert held in Kingston that year.

Desmond Dekker

Born Desmond Adolphus Dacres in Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica on July 16, 1941, Dekker was a singer-songwriter-musician who helped introduce ska to an international audience. Working alongside Wilson James and Easton Barrington Howard from his backing group the Aces, Dekker created several hits with love songs, social commentary, religious themes and political commentary all taking place throughout his storied career – 1968’s “007 (Shanty Town)” and its follow up “Israelites” helped cement him as one of reggae’s founding fathers while also promoting Jamaican ghetto life into international consciousness as Dekker brought them worldwide recognition – leading directly up to Bob Marley himself becoming famous as one of reggae’s founding fathers of reggae.

Though his popularity waned during the 1970s, Dekker reappeared at the peak of British ska revival of mid to late ’80s led by Graham Parker & the Rumour and The Specials (the first UK punk band to incorporate reggae music). Dekker recorded several new albums during that decade before passing away at age 63 in London in 2006. Dekker remains widely recognized as an influence on both punk rock and modern reggae music with many international tours beginning in ’80s.

The Paragons

At the height of vinyl singles’ popularity, B-sides provided many artists an opportunity to demonstrate their studio skills or explore new sounds – for some this resulted in duds while for others it led to classic records being released.

This b-side from The Paragons, formed in the early 60s with members Leroy Stamp, Bob Andy, Tyrone Evans and Junior Menz is an example of their rocksteady sound. Influenced by American R&B and soul music styles, its slow tempo was ideal for vocal harmony harmonies that formed part of this band’s sound.

Paul Winley signed The Paragons to his label and they performed with The Jesters at clubs throughout Harlem including Apollo Theatre and Apollo Club. Here they backed singer Bill Witt (originally misprinted as The Vows of Love). Later they would back Tommy Collins for his hit single “Darlin’ I Love You”.

Lee Perry created an exquisite blend with this sublime beauty of Maytals of Jamaica from ska era Jamaica being updated into an irresistibly infectious rock stew, complete with perfect dread harmonies and an irresistibly deep bassline that make this track impossible not to move to. Zardonic (Venezuelan producer/DJ who’s worked with The Qemists, Circle of Dust and FreqGen among many other artists) added weighty drums, industrial music and even some metalcore elements into this piece anthem!

The Tide Is High

Blondie released their version of The Paragons’ 1967 track in 1980 and it quickly became a top chart hit both in the US and UK, catapulting them to global pop music stardom. It chronicles a man trying to win his beloved, yet knowing there may be other suitors competing with him for her love; with potential outcomes uncertain. The song deals with love affairs in general as its theme suggests: wooing women who already have suitors.

Original Version (Reggae) The original version was straight reggae with a syncopated beat and soulful R&B harmonies; this differed slightly from rocksteady (a precursor of reggae) performed by The Paragons during their rocksteady-influenced rocksteady performances in late 1960s, which featured more traditional R&B over an offbeat-focused musical track. Blondie added an orchestral arrangement into their version; their lively singing furthered its success.

According to Chris Stein in a 2008 Mojo Magazine interview, Debbie Harry and he both considered it their favorite track they ever recorded together. According to Stein’s account in Mojo Magazine interview from 2008, The Specials, part of British 2-Tone Ska revival at that time, declined the offer as backing musicians despite offers by Chris and Debbie Stein themselves to use it in performances of it as backing music – yet still considered it their favourite tune from them both!